Kellogg Community College (KCC) President Dr. Adrien Bennings has taken action in the wake of a controversial incident regarding the college's Equity and Inclusion Officer  Jorge Zeballos.

In a letter to KCC employees on Monday, Dr. Bennings said she will eliminate Zeballos' position of Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer within the current fiscal year, and take over the leadership of those efforts herself.

Controversy erupted after Zeballos posted a selfie of him protesting at the Battle Creek Trump rally on December 18th, holding a sign that read :

"F@%k Trump

F@%k McConnell

F@%k Graham"

The words F@%k were actually spelled out.

While many argued that Zeballos was just exercising free speech, the action prompted  members of the community to question whether Zeballos was the right person to hold the job of Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer at KCC.

Dr. Bennings began her tenure as Kellogg Community College's new President on January 6th, just as the issue erupted in the Battle Creek community.

On Monday, Dr. Bennings announced changes in a letter to employees.  Here is that letter:

"KCC employees,

As you are aware, Kellogg Community College this year is engaging in an institutional strategic planning process that is informing current and future priorities for the organization. This process involves creating opportunities for students, employees and community members to provide input as KCC reflects on its longstanding role as a provider of higher learning in its various forms. It also involves the College making decisions regarding how best to deliver on its mission of helping students succeed at the institution.

While KCC's strategic plan evolves, several initial priorities have emerged that are resulting in the immediate reallocation of the College's resources.

Specifically, this includes the need for the institution's equity and inclusion initiatives to be driven directly from the President's Office under my leadership instead of through the College's Office of Equity and Inclusion.

This reallocation of responsibilities signifies the central importance of equity and inclusion to the leadership at KCC and enables me, as KCC President, to embed KCC's core values even more broadly across the institution.

This change also requires fiscal stewardship, which includes the elimination of the position of Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer within the current fiscal year.

Today, I formally notified the KCC personnel affected by this change.

As KCC moves forward with the development of its strategic plan, additional organizational changes may be warranted to better meet the needs of our students, our institution and our community.


Dr. Adrien L. Bennings, President"


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